Monday, April 14, 2014

Director of Operations

F@CK YEA!!! I love this so much I can't even begin to tell you.

This rides right along with Mommy of the Year.

"You can have lunch but only when the associate is done eating their lunch."

"The associate needs constant attention."

"That's almost cruel, that almost a very, very sick twisted joke."

I wish I had the words to say how much I truly love this...

PLEASE Click the link:

#World'sToughestJob

Friday, April 11, 2014

Parenting Survey: How often do you lose your shit and freak out like a f@cking lunatic at your children?

Parenting Survey.

How often do you lose your shit and freak out like a f@cking lunatic at your children?

A) Why on earth would I raise my voice and express hostility toward these innocent and angelic creatures?

B) I did once and I felt so badly afterward that I apologized to my child through tears and vowed to never raise my voice again.

C) Monthly, when I have PMS and I have an unusually short fuse.

D) Weekly, usually toward the end of the week and we are all getting on each other's nerves.

E) Daily, these kids are beasts.

F) What was the question?  I couldn't hear you over my screaming....oh, um B through E.  Who the hell answered A?  Liars.

https://www.facebook.com/amberlynnphotography?ref=profile
Kid Rage...I don't know where he gets it from!


If you answered:

A) You are in fact a liar OR you are highly medicated...please let us know what you are on, I am sure many of us would like to look into it...

B) We all started out this way.  You will keep your vow for a while, then it will happen again.  Much like killing someone it gets easier each time...What?  That is common knowledge gleaned from many a police drama!

C) You have a lot of self control.  You pick your battles wisely and you probably don't sweat the small stuff.  Congratulations, little Ms. Perfect.

D) You are an average mother.  You probably have pretty well behaved kids that act up a bit but nothing unusual.  Your kids are the ones they describe in all the milestone books...the "textbook child".

E) You are a little dramatic.  Your personality is either significantly different from your children or exactly the same.  You do your best not to engage in this kind of behavior but you are far too emotional.  You could easily be worse but you are good about finding time for yourself before it gets to that point.

F) You are likely a full time stay at home mom that needs to get away from her children.  Find a baby sitter asap.  The situation has gone toxic, you are spending way too much time with your kids and they are turning into little assholes.  You feel guilty because you want to call them assholes to their face, it happens to the best of us, don't feel bad.  You are merely teaching them that if they throw a plate of food at someone, no matter who that person is, they best be ready for a brawl.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Mom Dating

It's my friend's birthday tomorrow.  She's a good friend that I met after I had Thing One.  I think we met when he was 9 months old.  When people ask how we met we tell them that I picked her up at the park.  That's the truth.  I did pick her up...I had game.

Here is the thing no one tells you about being a stay at home mom.  It can be very lonely, very isolating, especially if it is your first child and none of your friends have kids.  Most moms work now so the pool of stay at home moms is pretty small!  When we were kids nearly every mom in the neighborhood was a SAHM.  Your mom was friends with them and you were friends with their kids.  It was easier.  Now 80% of the women in the park are nannies and 10% are dads and maybe there are a couple of moms there.  If you are lucky they have a child close in age to yours.  That is what happened the day I met Tiny Dancer.  Obviously that is not her real name...although I am sure there is a child somewhere in this city who's first name is Tiny with the middle Dancer...because people will name their kids all kinds of crazy ass shit, but I digress.  I'd been a mom for 9 months and I had NO mommy friends with children the same age as mine.  My best friend had up and moved across the country right after I got pregnant. Complete abandonment in my most needy time.  Sure, I only took care of her first born full time for 2 months during her hour of need (ok, it was mine too, I was unemployed but that is a very minor detail) and what does she do?  Leaves me to fend for myself because she had to "do what was best for her family"... lame.

Swings are prime pick up location.

Where was I?  Oh yes, I am alone with my baby most of the time and I am desperate for something to do every day.  I spend the first 6 months looking into Baby and Me groups and classes.  Most of them make me want to kill myself for the bargain price of three times an actual adult gym membership.  Half the class is disinterested nannies and the other half is made up of over bearing moms that are nervous any time my child comes within 3 feet of theirs, dousing themselves in antibacterial gel and hippy moms that freak when their child picks up my child's sippy cup because it is not made out of bamboo.  It also contains evil chemically laced baby formula and not freshly expressed breast milk.  One can only stop their eyes from rolling out loud so many times.  So I was left with the park, at least it was free.  It is well documented that I hate the park.  The reasons are endless and perhaps some day I will write about them in great detail, but for now I just f%cking hate the park.  It is a necessary evil, especially when you have active boys.  Off to the park I went with Thing One, almost every day.  I quickly began to realize that I was getting the same feelings I used to get when I was single and dating and would be out at the bar.  I'd see moms see me seeing them.  I would see them consider coming over to talk to me, and I would see them chicken out.  Occasionally one would come over, throw out a line "are those your sand toys?"  That is the equivalent to "do you come here often" for moms.  And we would have a nice chat and then I would determine she was insane and then I would have to extricate myself from what could have ended up being a scary relationship.

By the time I met Tiny Dancer I had gotten the hang of the park pick up, but I had never really met anyone that was a keeper.  A lot of hippy moms.  It's not that I hate hippy moms.  I don't.  I just rarely have enough in common with them, OR more likely they can not tolerate my non hippy way.  You know, I feed my kids hot dogs occasionally...and COWS milk...sometimes it's not even ORGANIC...I know, I am the worst mother ever.  Then there were a ton of intolerable moms who are all, "Blackanddecker is on the list at Snobbydale and The RichieRich School.  Where are you thinking of sending your son?  What did you say his name was...James?  That's so original!"  Tiny Dancer wasn't either of these.  Tiny Dancer was just a mom with a baby that needed to get out of the house and spent most of her time alone...with said baby.  I picked her up at the swings.  If you are a new mom, the swings are where it is at for the mom pick up.  The swings mean your kids are contained, you are standing side by side (so you don't have to physically approach or even make eye contact at first) and if things aren't going well there is always someone waiting behind you for a swing, so you have a great out.  I think my pick up line was "how old is she?"  That was usually my line because I didn't bother with anyone unless they had a baby the same age as Thing One.  Tiny Dancer's teeny tiny girl was, in fact, also almost 9 months old.  Check.  Do you live nearby?  Yes.  Check.  No one wants to be schlepping all over the free world for a play date.  Are you from LA originally?  No...East Coast born and raised, spent the last several years in NYC.  Check, Check and Check!  So far so good.  Ok, let me drop a few F-bombs on her, I can't be friends with someone that is offended by my sailor mouth.  She didn't really flinch.  Good, good.  "Hey, why don't you come over and hang on my blanket, the kids can sit and play."  I told you I had game!  She wasn't sure, she hesitated, I let her know I wasn't insane.  Who knows, maybe she came over because she was afraid not to...sort of like that time you put out a little after that guy took you to that super expensive dinner.  You knew you'd never call him again but it was easier to just give him a little 'something' and get out than do the whole song and dance.  SHUT UP,  you know exactly what I am talking about.  Anyway, maybe Tiny Dancer came over to the blanket because it was easier than the song and dance, but she stayed and she let her teeny tiny girl play with non-organic, non-recycled toys that were probably filthy.  We talked, I probably scared her a little, we pretended we weren't lushes with a sick sense of humor, we acted like we had our acts together...it was cute.  I'm glad I picked up Tiny Dancer and I am glad it worked out.  It has been less than 3 years since we met, but I can't imagine having done all we've done in that brief time without having her skinny little ass around.

New moms, put on your cutest mom outfit, a little lip gloss and take that baby to the park.  Find a mom that is dressed a little like you and that has a baby that looks around the same age as yours.  Go drop a pick up line on her...she just might end up being one of your best friends.  Get it girl.

Happy Birthday Tiny Dancer.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Morning After

Dear Children,


Good morning.  As of our last interaction, neither of you were capable of reading this letter.  I am hoping that by some miracle one of you woke up this morning with the sudden ability to read because Mommy and Daddy really need you to be aware of some developments.  Mommy and Daddy can't wake up with you guys this morning.  You will have to fend for yourselves.  Thing One, you will have to get Thing Two out of his crib and change his diaper.  Also, please remember to go pee-pee in the potty before it is too late or you will also have to clean up your own mess (for once).  Breakfast shouldn't be a big problem as you both pretty much refuse all food other than berries.  There are berries in the fridge.  Thing One can get them out, I know you know how to open the refrigerator as you do so every 5 minutes in the later part of most afternoons.  My understanding is that you are looking for some magical healthy snack that includes chocolate.  I promise that when I find a healthy snack that includes chocolate I will stock it in our home, until then, berries.

Feel free to watch tv.  That is probably the safest thing to do until Mommy and/or Daddy can lift their tequila soaked heads off the pillow.  I know you guys don't know what tequila is, or why it would make our heads so heavy.  I promise that some day it will all come together and everything will be clear but today you just have to trust me.  You also have to be quiet.  Very quiet.  Whoever is the quietest child today wins.  The prize is whatever you want and Mommy and Daddy's unwavering gratitude.  You must also keep yourselves busy.  You see, Mommy and Daddy didn't go to bed until a few hours ago, so we have several hours of sleep yet to go.  Once we wake up we will likely be in very bad moods.  We will also want to sit on the couch and not move very much.  For these reasons we will be unable to play with you today.  The good news is, you have each other.  That said, please do not attack one another for the next 24 hours.  Mommy and Daddy are not able to protect you from each other today.  We are not going to be moving very quickly today so we can't help you if you guys get into a tight place.  If we move too quickly we could bump into something, or even fall down.  Falling down is not a big deal to you guys but we are much taller, we have a longer way to fall.  If you do see either of us move quickly, don't celebrate that we are back to our happy playful selves.  No, I am sorry to say that in the event one of us does move quickly today you should simply move out of our way, clear the path to the nearest bathroom.  Remember that time you woke up in the middle of the night and all the stuff came out of your tummy through your mouth and nose?  Remember when it landed all over mommy?  That was funny huh?  Mommy didn't think it was funny though.  Block our path at your own peril.

Boys, Mommy and Daddy just really need you to pretend to be invisible today.  We pretended you were invisible last night, today it is your turn.  Do you think you can do that?  Also, what are the chances one of you woke up with the sudden ability to drive as well as read? We need to make a McDonald's run for some McMuffins and I am pretty sure we might still be unable to drive legally.

Thanks for understanding.  We promise if you do this for us we will let you have one free pass when you are teenagers.

Love,

Mommy and Daddy

Miserable Mommy.  My drinking plan of alternating margaritas with white wine was a rookie move...pathetic.

Friday, March 28, 2014

What's In Your Wallet? Errr...Purse: Inside a Stay At Home Mom's Bag of Tricks ***CONTEST***

Recently and old friend and fellow blogger wrote a post for www.myadea.com in which she catalogued the items in a working mom's purse (Working Mom's Purse).  Great minds think alike.  I had a similar post planned but hadn't gotten around to writing it yet.  I am a stay at home mom, and unlike Vanessa's daily purse mine requires a few additional items.  Referencing the information in Vanessa's post, it seems working moms have a day-to-day purse and a separate bag they use for family outings.  Similarly, stay at home moms have a day-to-day purse used for quick trips - errands, park, play date, restaurant etc.  There is also a separate bag for longer excursions that include half of the household's contents.  


Riffing off of Vanessa's Working Mom's Purse article, here are the contents of a stay at home mom's day to day purse:


From Upper Left to Right

1.  It should be noted that I have not one, but two make up pallets in my purse.  You would think I would look better on most days.

2.  One night time diaper, 2 day time diapers.

3.  Training nun-chucks...because that seems like a reasonable thing to carry around in your purse.

4. One pair of black footie socks, because you never know when you will end up at an indoor playground.

5.  Hand moisturizer.  I wash my hands a lot.  Kids are gross.

6.  The lens cap to my camera - that's where that disappeared to!

7.  THREE pairs of baby socks, for reasons I can not explain.

8. Hand sanitizer for the kids...organic hippy stuff.

9. NARS lipgloss, color: Orgasm...because that is a very motherly color.

10. A pen - that I can never find when I need it...

11. Hand sanitizer for me, the hard stuff.

12. Skittles and a Tootsie Roll, because you never know when you'll need a bribe.

13. Emergency binky.

14. Aveeno Baby Eczema cream and Neutrogena Sunscreen 55+ because my kids have both dry and fair skin...and another lipgloss.

15. BabyGanics Thick N Kleen Face, Hand and Baby Wipes - because I clean more than butts.

16.  My clutch wallet - this is what travels with me when I am 'sans' kids...just this little bag.

17.  Zofran tablets (on top of the wallet) because you never know when you might be hung over and nauseous...just kidding...or not...no I am...maybe.

18.  A boys comb and a mini Thor figure.

19.  Deodorant...enough said...

20.  Two matchbox cars...of course, I have 2 boys!

21.  Hilariously - a mini flask...it's empty...and there is a story here.  I could tell you but it is more fun to let your imagination run wild.

22.  Various feminine products because ya never know!

23.  Three play packs, a ton of crayons and some Kleenex

24.  Don't even ask what I threw out...vile.

And just for fun...this is what is typically found in my bottle drying rack:

1- Bottle, 1- Sippy cup, 1- Binky, 1- Wine aerator, 1- Wine glass, 1- Espresso cup...because we have our priorities squared away!



CONTEST TIME:  1. Subscribe to my blog via your email in the side bar to the right  AND  2. "Like" this post on Mommyoftheyear.net's Facebook Page   A winner will be drawn at random to win a $25 DSW eGift Card (to use toward a new purse??) on April 15, 2014.  The winner will be notified via Facebook Message within 48 hours with their prize code.  This contest closes at 12:00am April 15, 2014 PST.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

This Old House

Home repairs and renovations rank in the top ten stressful life events according to my very thorough and exhaustive Google research.  Do you know what else is stressful?  Being home all day with two children under four years old.  Do you know what is mega super stressful?  Being home with two children under four years old while having home repairs done.  I know people with children who have lived in their house for weeks or even months while having entire bathrooms and kitchens gutted and remodeled!  I assume they are now in some sort of support group because the very minimal work being done on/in my house is quite enough thank you very much.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Because I Said So

I am writing this for the friend who called me for advice today.  The friend that is transitioning her son to a big boy bed and embarking on one of several milestones that happen, often in quick succession.  Big kid bed, potty training and pre-school.  You’ve got your work cut out for you.  Girl, it’s going to be a busy summer. 

I’m writing this at 4 a.m.  Yes, that’s right I am awake at four o’clock in the morning.  Why?  Because, I do not have all of the answers either and because my one year old still wakes up at 4-5 a.m. for a bottle…and I give it to him.  I do this every single morning, without fail.   I know.  I KNOW!!! Who AM I?  How did this happen?  How did I manage to allow this for so long?  Why do I continue to allow it?  Truth be told, it is easier.  Yes, Lazy Parenting 101:  Do It Because It’s Easier.  He gets a bottle every morning at the wee hours of the day because he demands one with such stamina (yes, I know I created this) and at a decibel level compatible with an air raid siren, that I leap from my bed like an Olympic gymnast to fetch that bottle.  I assemble a 6oz bottle of whole milk in the dark with the silence, speed and steady dexterity that comes with the white-hot fear that any unusual noise will awaken Thing 1 and unleash the Kraken at 4 a.m.  This is my Hurt Locker.  I get in, I get out and I get on with life.

The conversation I had with my friend had me thinking.  Part of the amazing journey of raising a child is getting through these difficult transitions.  They tell you who your kid really is and what he/she is really made of, and sometimes it ain’t that pretty.  That’s ok.  You aren’t pretty a lot of the time either.  With each difficult phase and with each difficult milestone a mother’s experience grows exponentially.  When a group of moms with un-potty trained kids meets a mom that has just successfully completed potty training they treat her like she is omniscient and hang on her every word of advice.  The amusing part about this is that she roughed it out and had no idea what she was doing and probably cried every day just like you will, even with her advice.  I’ve done the bed transition, I’ve done the potty training, and I’ve done the pre-school transition.  I have done them all with a very stubborn, very combative, very verbally advanced, very sensitive, very complex child that is not wired similarly to me at all.  I learned those things about Thing 1.  Here is what I also learned.  These experiences are not just an opportunity learn what your child is made of, they are an opportunity to show him/her what you are made of, do not fuck it up.

These milestones are transitions from “baby” to “big kid” and they are teaching them important life skills.  People go to the bathroom in a toilet, people lay down in a bed when they are tired, close their eyes and go to sleep, and (if given the opportunity) people go to school and socialize and learn with their peers.  When I potty trained Thing 1 I resorted to doing something I never do, I read a book on potty training.  This book presented an approach that felt right for me because it was not about reward or consequence.  Rewards and consequences don’t work on my son.  Often, when I offer a reward for a certain behavior it results in a new battle over the reward.  When I enact a consequence for not doing something he is asked to do (i.e. go potty) it just shrouds that thing in negativity and I lose even more footing.  After the success I had with this method of potty training I started to implement this approach to many of the milestones and newly expected behaviors that have come along the way.  I’m not perfect and sometimes I can be a bit flimsy, but when I am able to consistently focus it always works.  There are certain things in life a person should do, not because they will get M&Ms or a sticker, they should do it because that is what people do and because they can and because they have enough respect for themselves that they no longer want to sit in their own shit, or sleep in a glorified cage or hang out and run errands with mommy every day.  It helped to think that I was instilling a sense of confidence, of esteem and of responsibility.  Every time I sopped up the pee off the floor, or wrung out a pair of underwear it helped to know that this is a process of teaching my son that not only could he do it, but that he would do it because Mommy told him that is what big boys do, and Mommy knows best.  I feel like this sentiment has become scarce and frowned upon these days.  Oh well, I'm bringing it back!  I'm bringing "because I said so," back, feel free to join the revolution.

To my dear friend embarking on the big boy bed transition, remember that you are teaching him a life skill.  You are not torturing him.  Frankly, he is torturing you.  When the potty training starts you are going to need the following supplies:

-M&Ms – not for him, for you because they pair well with…
-a lot of red wine
-carpet cleaner
-patience…of a saint
-stamina
-more red wine
-time
-a supportive partner who will either do exactly as you say or stay out of your way during this process
-realistic expectations

Things you will not need:

-a reward chart
-friends that tell you about how their child was fully potty trained in 2 days…or worse, that they “just potty trained themselves” or worse “maybe he’s just not ready”
-pull ups, diapers etc. (except for night time)…they are no longer an option once you start potty training.  Mixed messages will make it significantly harder.
-obligations or plans to go anywhere for at least 2-3 days
-to remain sober after 4:30pm

Good luck my friend. Remember, no matter what happens he will not be in diapers and sleeping in a crib when he is 25…and if he is, you messed him up in FAR more serious ways.